Sidelined Sturridge leaves Liverpool short and Hull can hurt them
Hull City have lost just one of their last four Premier League meetings with Liverpool. A draw, the result in two of those encounters, looks a tempting bet at 23/10 with Coral, not least because of some disturbing news from Reds boss Brendan Rodgers regarding Daniel Sturridge.
It has been an injury-hit season for the England striker and he may not play again this term, according to his club manager. “We’ll see if he’s going to be back this season or pre-season,” said Rodgers of Sturridge. “It has been difficult for Daniel.
“He’s a good lad who wants to play and be working and helping the team. It’s just been one of those seasons for him where it has been very unfortunate.
“We are going to have to monitor that day by day and see where he’s at. When he’s been fit he’s been brilliant for the team. We need to get him back fit and consistently playing.”
All of this is music to Tigers boss Steve Bruce’s ears. Not only do Liverpool visit the KC Stadium having failed to win their last outings, but they must do so without Sturridge. Hull are 3/1 shots to upset the Reds, which would create a four-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
Despite Sturridge continuing to sit out, Rodgers’ Reds are odds-on 19/20 favourites for three points in their quest for a top four finish. Delivering Champions League football for next term looks beyond Liverpool, though, as they trail Manchester United by seven points.
Rodgers’ attacking ensemble should give the Tigers plenty to think about, however. They may have failed to break down a stubborn West Bromwich Albion outfit under Tony Pulis last time out, but the Reds’ quality remains.
Philippe Coutinho was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season, and despite this is best value as a 2/1 anytime scorer on Humberside from the fantastic five Liverpool could unleash at Hull.
Italian forwards Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli simply have to do better, though the pacey threat of Raheem Sterling might be more appropriate tactically against Bruce’s boys, with the Tigers handler often favouring three at the back.
Six of Sterling’s 11 goals across all competitions have come on the road, and that is reflected in anytime odds of 6/4, while he is better at 11/2 to grab the opener.
Senegal striker Dame N’Doye, signed by Hull in the winter window, has been impressive since coming to the Premier League. His return of five in 10, including a brace at Crystal Palace last time, means the Liverpool defence must take him seriously.
N’Doye is long at 14/1 for two or more, but anytime odds of 11/4 are a bet definitely worth considering. Robbie Brady must continue to provide the Tigers centre forward with decent service, though.
Punters should expect a low-scoring affair here and the possibility of a 0-0 at 8/1 is tempting. Those of who you fancy a score draw, a final result of 1-1 is an 11/2 chance.